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Sports news with a Vegas perspective.

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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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Oklahoma City Thunder vs San Antonio Spurs, Start Time, Odds, Free Pick

Tonight we have a Free Pick in the NBA between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs, which will take place at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The game has a start time of 9:30 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ESPN. Current Vegas betting odds have the Spurs listed as 7.5 point favorites, while the total is set at 215. 

Analysis: The Thunder are starting to play really good ball as they have one 6 of their last 7 games, but we also note that those 6 wins were at home, while the lone loss was on the road, where they have gone just 14-21 on the year. The Thunder are 41-30 on the year and currently have a 3 game lead over the Phoenix Suns for the 8th and final playoff spot in the West. OKC has gone 9-2 ATS in their last 11 vs. the Western Conference, but just 6-15 ATS in their last 21 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Thunder have been a good offensive team this year, ranking 6th in scoring (103.6 ppg), 18th in shooting, 24th in 3 point shooting and 9th in FT shooting. Defensively the Thunder have been average this year, ranking 19th in points allowed (100.5 ppg), 2nd in defensive FG% and 11th in 3 point defense. 

The San Antonio Spurs come in hot as they have won 10 of their last 12 games, which includes a very impressive 19 point road win over Atlanta on Sunday. The Spurs are now 44-25 on the year and if the playoffs started today they would have a 6th seed, but they are only 2 games behind Houston for the third seed in the West. The Spurs have gone 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games, but just 5-13-1 ATS the last 19 in the series. The Spurs have been a decent offensive team this year, ranking 11th in scoring (102.4 ppg), 5th in shooting, 6th in 3 point shooting and 6th in FT shooting. Defensively the Spurs have been solid, ranking 9th in points allowed (97.9 ppg), 13th in defensive FG% and 26th in 3 point defense.  

Pick: Both teams played last night and I will expect a slower paced game in this one. The Spurs really struggled on defense last night and you know that Pop isn't happy about that. The Thunder offense has been good this year, but still they score just 100.5 ppg on the road, while San Antonio has allowed just 99.4 ppg at home. Yes the Spurs can score at home and OKC has struggled defensively on the road, but with the way that Popovich coaches I just can't see the Spurs really pushing tempo on the 2nd of BB night, especially since they are firmly entrenched in the playoffs. The Under is 12-3 in OKC's last 15 games after scoring more than 125 points in their previous game, while the Under is 5-1 in San Antonio's last 6 games playing with 0 rest. This one should be played under 110 points. 

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